The 13th ALFILM SELECTION will be presenting a multifaceted programme, showcasing the cultural diversity of the Arab world, from Somalia to Morocco, from Yemen to Palestine.
In addition to the countries that are usually strongly represented during ALFILM, such as Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia, the 13th ALFILM SELECTION will present films from Jordan with The Alleys (Bassel Ghandour, 2020), Iraq with Europa (Haider Rashid, 2021) and Our River, Our Sky (Maysoon Pachachi, 2021), Libya with The Colonel’s Stray Dogs (Khalid Shamis, 2021), Qatar with And then they Burn the Sea (Majid Al-Remaihi, 2021), Somalia with Life on the Horn (Moe Harawe, 2020), Sudan with Al Sit (Suzannah Mirghani, 2021), and Yemen with Don’t Get too Comfortable (Shaima El Tamimi, 2021).
Several of the 2022 ALFILM SELECTION films offer a critical and often disturbing look at the current political and social issues of their countries of production. In Feathers (Egypt/France/Netherlands/Greece, 2021), Omar El Zohairy explores the hardships and challenges an underprivileged woman goes through in ruthless Cairo as her husband disappears under mysterious circumstances, whereas in Europa (Iraq/Kuwait/Italy, 2021), Haider Rashid addresses the ever-growing far-right threats Arab migrants are facing in Europe
The questions of identity and migration are also central within the 13th ALFILM SELECTION with films such as A Tale of Love and Desire (Layla Bouzid, Tunisia/France, 2021), in which a young Frenchman with Algerian roots questions his identity and what it means to be an Arab, after he falls in love with a young Tunisian woman who has just moved to Paris. In The Sea Ahead by Ely Dagher (Lebanon/France/Belgium/USA/Qatar, 2021), on the other hand, a young woman finds herself again in a crisis-ridden Beirut while battling a depression whose causes stem from her life in exile.
In a trend that ALFILM highlighted in its 12th Home Edition SPOTLIGHT (Genres Revisited: Visionary Imagery and Fragmented Narratives in Contemporary Arab cinema), a number of films of the 13th ALFILM SELECTION use the conventions of mainstream genre films to uncover social grievances and to create multidimensional narratives and complex characters. In the aforementioned films The Alleys, Europa, Feathers and Streams (Mehdi Hmili, Tunisia/France/Luxembourg, 2021), the conventions of thriller, horror, or gangster films are used to shed light on the fears and hardships that the films’ protagonists have to face in their societies or the ones they have migrated to.
Two short films programs complement the 13th ALFILM SELECTION. The first is dedicated to films directed by Arab filmmakers living in diaspora and the second to the exploration of the complexities of family ties.